A family member, my cousin, passed away this weekend. And it made me reflect again on the experience of grief.
It seems to me that grief is like this thing you have to hold, like a bowling ball.
Sometimes you feel strong, and it seems light.
Sometimes you try to hand it to someone else for a minute. To varying results.
And sometimes it’s so fucking heavy, and you’re tired.
And sometimes it feels good, the weight of this ball, and your responsibility for it.
Mostly it feels like only your responsibility. The weight belongs to you, you are meant to carry it.
There is pride in carrying it.
And still, sometimes it feels so good to hand it over.
But sometimes you want to hoard it, can’t imagine passing it to someone else, giving up ownership, even for a moment. So much that you hide it, fiercely, privately. It is yours.
You own it, like you own nothing else. It’s a part of you, like a scar. Something that only holds value for you, because of the experience that came with it. Somewhat ugly to everyone else, who mostly don’t understand why it brings you relief to run your finger over it.
How strange it is, that loss occupies so much space. That empty space has so much weight.
Also strange that your life continues in all of the ways, while you carry this awkward and unpredictable bowling ball with you on your way.
As I have said in the past, holidays are bitter sweet, after loss. Love to you and yours. Those who are still with you, and those valentines you’ve loved and lost.